Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BMC "Team Bonding"

The second running camp during the month of August was with the BMC runners. After Spartan running camp, I scrambled to get my CDL, make plans, grocery shop, and gather tents and supplies for a camping trip to the Smoky Mountains.

We took a trip to Gatlinburg, TN with the intention of creating team unity. The trip was good in many ways. The weather was great, the scenery was beautiful, and a few of the runners really appreciated the work, expense, and good intentions behind the trip.

We stayed at Jellystone Campground, which was the same place our family stayed last Thanksgiving. The campground connects to the Smoky Mountain National Park, and many of our runs began with a direct ascent up the mountain!

Our campsites were right beside the stream running through the campground. The stream was a great way to cool off after a run!
We had 3 tents plus a food tent. Our breakfasts and lunches were very simple and from the cooler, and dinners were cooked in crock pots.
The day of utter exhaustion included a long run on the mountain and a hike that went from 8 miles to 13... The bus couldn't drive all the way up to the trail head, and so we hitched a ride in the back of a truck. On our way down, we walked several extra miles before coming to a car willing to take us to the bus. Taking a break on the way down

The hike was worth it (in my opinion), because the view at the top was amazing... The old growth forest and waterfall were breathtaking!

Literally breathtaking, if you stood under the waterfall!! That water was COLD!

We also got to take a whitewater rafting trip! Although several runners were nervous, it was a fun day and everyone really enjoyed this part of the trip.

I learned on this trip that coaching at the college level is different from my group of Spartans. I had hoped that the trip would bring the team together and get everyone excited about the upcoming season in the same way that camp had seemed to help the Spartans. I am afraid that this trip just wore everyone out, sent the freshmen into shock, and united quite a few runners against me. I am not sure if we will be taking another team bonding trip! However, there were some encouraging things about the trip. I love the mountains, I love tent camping, and it was great to see some spiritual maturity from some of the runners!

Spartan Camp

In August, two of the four weeks were spent doing running camps. The first was Spartan running camp, held in Shelby Forest State Park in Millington, TN. The Spartans rented out a group camp facility and split the week... boys the first half and girls the second half.

The group camp was perfect... except for the fact that the cabins had no air conditioning! The boys started out the week sleeping in cabins, but the heat index was up over 110 most of the time... This made for rather uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, so everyone carried their mattresses to the lodge for a giant slumber party! Sleeping in the air was much nicer... but there was a demon ice maker in the kitchen which kept dropping loud loads of ice every few hours and overflowing!

Each day we ran, did strength training, had recreation time, and finished the day with devotion.
The terrain for running was definitely challenging. Runners had a choice... uphill or downhill, but there was not really a flat option! Recreation activities included hiking, kickball, ultimate frisbee, and 4 square! Four square was a great way to beat the heat and play something competitive indoors.
Hiking a trail during recreation time
Strengthening the hips
Learning about race strategy
Devotion with Mr. Young
What a great group of guys!

The girls arrived on Wednesday for their half of the week. Menus and schedules were almost identical...However, the girls slept in the lodge right from the beginning!

The week was great for both groups, but I think it seemed to be particularly helpful for the girls... especially the varsity group. They really came together as a group and I could tell that they were in for a good, strong season.
Kendra, Danielle, Julie, Martha, Olivia, and Catherine

All of the girls worked hard during our runs and strength training...

And we had fun during recreation, too! The lifeguards entertained us showing off with their tricks, and we had a few tricks of our own!

The best part of the week was our special speaker... My high school coach came one evening to speak to the girls about a wide variety of running issues! Coach Campbell has been one of the most influential people in my life, and I am so thankful that I got to share him with my Spartan girls! He finished up his talk by entertaining the group with some photos of me and even an old home video of our team!

Catching Up

I can NOT believe how long it has been since I've posted on this blog!! Everything in the next few posts will be very old news, but I like to keep my blog as sort of an online scrapbook...

At the end of the summer, my mom and sister came to help with some projects... I love the cottage look, but somehow or another my house was full of dark furniture! Our solution: paint just about everything downstairs! We started with painting and distressing my dining room table and china cabinet.
Next, we moved on to the black built in cabinet in our eating area. I know that the black is more trendy, but I just really like bright and colorful... SO... it took several coats, but we painted it white. We changed the background to blue, and also painted my kitchen chairs to match. Finally, we painted the bead board under the bar white and the pie safe green. I love the new look! It may sound garish to some of my more subdued friends, but, well, I think Mi Pueblo is beautiful! :)

The day my mom and sister were helping me finish up stuff, I got a phone call from Scott asking if I'd like some tomatoes to can. Sounded good to me, so I said, "Sure!" When he arrived home, box after box of tomatoes appeared in my kitchen. His reasoning: well, we got a good deal if I bought ALL 130 POUNDS!!!! Yikes! To his credit, he had NO idea how much work canning tomatoes is!

Now, we have a pantry full of chili tomatoes, salsa, and mexican tomatoes! How nice for this winter!
Right before school started, the girls got to do two more exciting things. First, we took a van load of girls to my mom's house for a "Math Party!" This was not a slumber party to work on multiplication... it was a party to celebrate Sarah's monumental math achievement... for the first time since first grade she is caught up in math!! We ordered pizza, swam, and stayed up late watching movies.

Next, we got to have "Chocolate Class" with Sydney! Sydney spent the previous semester in Italy taking culinary classes. The girls had been dying to learn some of her tricks, so she brought ingredients and taught us some Italian chocolate secrets!

YUM! The finished product!